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Jorge Masvidal calls for rematch with Kamaru Usman after welterweight defeat at UFC Fight Island

Jorge Masvidal has thrown down the gauntlet for a welterweight rematch with Kamaru Usman, after their hastily organised contest at UFC 251 in Abu Dhabi. 

Masvidal, nicknamed Gamebred, filled in with six days’ notice and lost 20 pounds in that space of time to fight Usman at UFC Fight Island, after original opponent Gilbert Burns contracted coronavirus.

However, on fight night Usman was too strong and won via a unanimous points decision – but now Masvidal insists he wants another shot at the UFC welterweight champion, stating his willingness for another fight in a tweet on Sunday. 

Masvidal wrote: ‘6 days. 20 pounds. Flew to Vegas. Vegas to Abu Dhabi. Fought the champ. Created the damage. He’s out for a minute. 

‘I’ve been ready since I got back. Time to move the division forward. Your move #supernecessary’ 

Usman, nicknamed the Nigerian Nightmare, was largely dominant throughout their fight on July 12 in the UAE. 

Yet speaking on the night after the 14th defeat of his 49-fight career, Masvidal said: ‘There were some areas where I felt that, with a better training camp, I could definitely surpass him.

‘The weight cut was tough, like everybody knows. I had a little bit of weight to cut but I’m not going to make excuses.’

And despite Masvidal’s willingness for a rematch, the 33-year-old champ has other potential opponents waiting in line for a title fight. 

Burns has now recovered from COVID-19, and Dana White has made it clear to the division that the Brazilian will be Usman’s next opponent in the near future. 

Other fighters such as Leon Edwards and Colby Covington are keen to be given an opportunity too, though as shown by Masvidal’s late involvement last month, plenty can change particularly if the appetite is there from the public. 

Masvidal’s fight against Usman pulled in a staggering 1.3 million pay-per-view buys, with White hailing the late replacement a ‘massive star’ for filling in at such short notice. 

‘I said it to you guys the other night, when you put on a fight, a successful promotion of an event, it’s a big melting pot of different things,’ White explained. 

‘Fight Island was a massive star in this thing. Masvidal is a massive star. Obviously, Usman, the champion and a guy that we’re all starting to realise is tough to beat, and a great card underneath.’ 

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